Military Review

American Expansion Floating Base

36
February 23, in the port of San Diego (California) was a ceremony of transfer to the fleet USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams ESB4.



Virtually all of the resources reporting this event focus on the size of this vessel, which is truly impressive. Hershel "Woody" Williams has a displacement of 78 000 tons, and in this parameter it is second only to the latest atomic heavy aircraft carriers of the Nimitz and Gerald R. Ford types, with a displacement of 100 thousand tons.

This new US Navy is positioned as an expeditionary naval base (EMB). Recall that this vessel is already the second. The first - Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3) - was introduced into the US auxiliary fleet in June 2017 of the year (launched in February 2014 of the year), but already in August was withdrawn from the auxiliary fleet and incorporated into the US Navy in August last year. Because of this, the “civilian” captain of the vessel was replaced by a military one, and the crew members received the status of military personnel. Why Lewis B. Puller was not immediately included in the main structure of the Navy is not entirely clear, perhaps this was done so as not to attract undue attention to this very curious vessel.

The basis for the creation of expeditionary bases became the hull of oil tankers, the so-called Alaskan class, especially strong, intended for navigation in areas with increased ice danger.

It must be said that both expeditionary naval bases are unique not only for their size. They are designed to support combat operations of the US Armed Forces in low-intensity conflicts, and are the actual military base, which has all the necessary infrastructure - ammunition depots, fuel, and other resources, premises for a relatively comfortable deployment of military contingent. For its delivery to the coast, four heavy transport helicopters CH-53 are provided, and a landing barge capable of taking on armed X-men about an 300. Takeoff and landing platform of the naval base is also capable of accepting the CF-22 Osprey tilt-rotors used by the United States Marine Corps.

This naval expeditionary base can be deployed, or rather moved to any part of the globe where the USA intends to carry out its presence, and is there for as long as possible. To this we can add that this does not require the consent of the local authorities, but to prevent the attack of the enemy (most likely insurgents or the army of the Third World countries) on the floating base beyond the territorial waters, and on the way of its supply, it is incomparably easier than on ground.

Actually, the idea of ​​creating such floating bases was vigorously discussed at the Pentagon back in 1983, when the US was forced to wind down its military mission in Lebanon, after the terrorists managed to blow up the American Marines barracks in Beirut.

Speaking about these ships, the Navy representatives first of all mention their use for the “mine action mission,” that is, using it as a base for clearing the water area from sea mines and other explosive objects.

However, today the Navy already has two such EMBs, another one is under construction. Even such a number of “bases of minesweepers” seems redundant, but the Pentagon intends to order several more of the same.

And this suggests that "mine action" is clearly not a priority of these vessels.

Expeditionary naval bases will be able not only to provide the American military presence at the same time in all key areas for the United States, but also to strengthen it quickly.

At the same time, the capabilities of the EMB, which will most likely be grouped by the Special Operations Forces, can be significantly enhanced by attaching to them the universal landing ships of the “Wosp” type, as well as the recently launched expeditionary reloading ships-docks, Montford Point and John Glenn. These vessels have a large ramp, which can connect with any other ships, turning into a cargo dock, allowing transports to unload very large cargoes in the open sea, regardless of the fixed infrastructure.

The name of the lead ship, Lewis B. Puller, has become a definite allusion to the intended use of the EMB. Lt. Gen. Lewis B. Puller, who fought in Haiti and Nicaragua, is perceived in the States, primarily as the "hero" of the classic "banana wars." And this circumstance, as if quite definitely hints at the upcoming use of expeditionary bases.

We also note that the large naval exercises of the US naval base were relatively recently held near Liberia, off the coast of South-West Africa. That is, it is likely that EMBs can prepare to participate in the unfolding grand struggle for the natural resources of Africa, where China, which is energetically developing the “black” continent, is one of the main opponents of the United States.

As we see, the United States, planning further global expansion, is seriously working not only to minimize losses and reduce financial costs, but also to significantly increase the mobility of its troops. The ability to move around the oceans on a floating military base, according to American strategists, will make it possible to surpass the mobile capabilities of the Russian Army, demonstrated in Syria, and very puzzling the Pentagon.

It is also noteworthy that, according to US media reports, several PMCs have already shown interest in acquiring offshore expeditionary bases, among them the British Protection Vessels International and Solage Global, and even the Northbridge Services Group registered in the Dominican Republic.

That is, the products of General Dynamics NASSCO may well be in demand by other buyers besides the Pentagon.
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  1. andr327
    andr327 27 February 2018 05: 30
    +4
    We have already discussed this construction, and the need for one or two vessels of this type for Russia seems to have been decided at the VO. More versatile than Mistral.
    1. Simargl
      Simargl 27 February 2018 09: 02
      +1
      Quote: andr327
      More versatile than Mistral.
      Mistrals are, however, more universal.
      Should we do UDC a little more and faster - another question. Like nuclear power plants.
      1. seos
        seos 27 February 2018 11: 18
        +4
        Mistrals cost about a billion .... and these troughs of 200 million each .... that is, like a corvette ... but it performs the same tasks ...
      2. Vladimir 5
        Vladimir 5 2 March 2018 13: 28
        0
        Not to confuse the rear support barge with combat units for delivering aircraft to the battlefield (Mistral). All these troubles with aircraft carriers, naval bases and a huge fleet stem from the remoteness of the United States from the places of military operations (around the world). With us, on the contrary, with NATO approaching our borders, all actions will be at hand, but for today we have nothing to claim, just to fight back ...
    2. Eflintuk
      Eflintuk 27 February 2018 21: 51
      +5
      We waited for nothing to be transported to Syria, we drive a BDK - it’s like plowing a field with a tank, we had to urgently buy a Turkish second-hand. Well so and take a used tanker some thread in China (or order a new one) and re-equip it in the image and likeness - everything will be more useful to the Mistral, and even cheaper at times.
      1. karabas-barabas
        karabas-barabas 5 March 2018 19: 45
        0
        "The possibility of moving across the oceans on a floating military base, according to American strategists, will exceed the mobile capabilities of the Russian Army, demonstrated in Syria, and very puzzling the Pentagon."
        To surpass means the mobile capabilities of the Russian army will allow, such as at the moment the Russian army is more mobile than the American .. It is unclear what Syria has demonstrated on this subject, but the author has even bent ..
  2. parma
    parma 27 February 2018 06: 37
    0
    And as for me UDC-overgrowth some ..
    1. Cherry Nine
      Cherry Nine 27 February 2018 06: 53
      +8
      Quote: parma
      UDC overgrowth

      This is not a warship. He has no serious weapons and his move is only 15 knots. The floating warehouse and the barracks, as was said. He was included in the Navy for legal reasons.
      1. Simargl
        Simargl 27 February 2018 09: 05
        +4
        Quote: Cherry Nine
        its stroke is only 15 knots
        And Mistral - straight gliders!
        1. parma
          parma 27 February 2018 11: 21
          0
          Quote: Cherry Nine
          Quote: parma
          UDC overgrowth

          This is not a warship. He has no serious weapons and his move is only 15 knots. The floating warehouse and the barracks, as was said. He was included in the Navy for legal reasons.

          Do Mistrals or UDC have any direct (with the exception of the air group)?
          This is not enough space for the barracks (it seems like less than 300 people), for the warehouse and transportation of groats - why 4 turntables? The controversial unit, I would also understand, buy its private traders from PMCs, so as not to depend on the airfields in such tanks, but the armies ... ordinary container ships can do no worse, an example of folkland ....
          1. Sevastiec
            Sevastiec 28 February 2018 05: 37
            0
            They have. Radar and air defense / missile defense.
          2. The comment was deleted.
      2. seos
        seos 27 February 2018 11: 26
        +2
        Kuzka, at the speed of 15 knots, sailed to Syria ... like any warship with cruising speed ...
        1. Cherry Nine
          Cherry Nine 27 February 2018 21: 17
          +3
          Quote: Simargl
          And Mistral - straight gliders!

          This is a ship of the American Navy. “Medium-speed” vessels The shipping command has a speed of 20–25 knots, both supply vessels and rollers / container ships. The device under discussion is not intended for action as part of compounds.
          Quote: parma
          Do Mistrals or UDC have any direct (with the exception of the air group)?

          They have. At least near-air defense. It didn’t have at all, now maybe a couple of Bushmasters were welded on the pedestals, and maybe not.
          Quote: parma
          conventional container ships do no worse, an example of folkland ....

          They also have container ships, I assure you.
          Quote: seos
          Kuzka the same with a speed of 15 knots sailed to Syria

          Do not touch grandpa.
          Quote: seos
          any warship with cruising speed ...

          In addition to cruising speed, a warship has a squadron.
        2. karabas-barabas
          karabas-barabas 5 March 2018 21: 10
          0
          Quote: seos
          Kuzka, at the speed of 15 knots, sailed to Syria ... like any warship with cruising speed ...


          Kuzya wandered into Syria no faster than the maximum 10 knots, most of the time even slower, do not confuse with Amer’s AUGs, they can go 30 knots. Which is not surprising, since on one boiler, and in general the power plant in it makes it pointless for further use. Each small trip ends with many years of repair and money has already been burned so much on it in the furnace that it would be possible to build a new one. Moreover, its combat value is not higher than that of a barge with a springboard, judging by the military use in Syria.
  3. The comment was deleted.
  4. KVU-NSVD
    KVU-NSVD 27 February 2018 09: 17
    +4
    For the banana wars in the style of the USA, they are good all over the planet, it’s not without reason that PMCs are interested in them, and the Arctic class is not in vain ... Russia would not be in danger of such a ship "in private hands" for flexibility in its use ..
  5. san4es
    san4es 27 February 2018 09: 24
    +2
    Why Lewis B. Puller was not immediately included in the main part of the Navy is not entirely clear

    USNS (eng. United States Naval Ship) - the prefix adopted in the US Navy in the designation of ships that are not included in the active fleet, do not carry a navy flag and are equipped with civilian personnel.
    Initially, the expeditionary naval bases were planned to be used as an auxiliary fleet. Later, in order to expand the possibilities of using these ships, the command decided to introduce them into the combat fleet.

    ...Those. floating pier essentially fellow
    Key Features: Full displacement of 78000 tons. Length 239,3 meters, width 50 meters, draft 9,0 meters. Speed ​​15 knots. Cruising range 9500 nautical miles. Crew 34 civilian sailors. Powerplant: diesel-electric. Two screws. No weapons. It has three air cushion landing craft (LCAC). On board can be placed naval landing of 298 people. There is also a helicopter deck and a hangar. Can take up to four heavy transport helicopters CH-53

    Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD) USNS Montford Point - Mobile Landing Platform - from the same opera
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 27 February 2018 10: 14
      +2
      Quote: san4es
      Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD) USNS Montford Point - Mobile Landing Platform - from the same opera

      Not certainly in that way. The first 2 vessels of the series were carried on board the LCAC and were, in fact, mobile dock-loading vessels (ESDs), which allowed unloading ordinary Sea Hull vessels on an unequipped shore outside the harbor (the ships were unloaded on board the ESD, after which the cargo was loaded onto the LCAC and delivered to Coast).
      But the second two ships became just expeditionary bases (ESB). They lost the LCAC and the ability to surf-dive, but they acquired a runway suitable for servicing the CH-53 and MV-22, and a helicopter hangar. It turned out to be a very heated escort AB in the variant of a landing helicopter carrier: 78 kilotons for 4 helicopters and a company tactical group. belay
      1. san4es
        san4es 27 February 2018 10: 49
        +1
        The first 2 vessels of the series were carried aboard the LCAC and were, in fact, mobile dock handling vessels (ESD)

        I agree ... I'm talking about the group:
        ... USNS (eng. United States Naval Ship) - a prefix adopted in the US Navy in the designation of ships that are not included in the active composition of the fleet
      2. san4es
        san4es 27 February 2018 11: 14
        +3
        Here is another USNS, but with a naval crew.
        Hospital ship USNS "Comfort" ... Put into operation on November 08, 1986. The Comfort hospital hospital ship was originally built as the SS Rose City oil tanker


        Main characteristics: Displacement of 69360 tons. Length 272 meters, width 32,18 meters, draft 10 meters. Speed ​​17,5 knots.
        The crew in full working condition is 63 civilian and 1214 military
        hi
        http://www.korabli.eu/galleries/oboi/voennye-kora
        bli / comfort
      3. Cherry Nine
        Cherry Nine 27 February 2018 21: 31
        +2
        Quote: Alexey RA
        The result was a very heated escort AB in the version of the landing helicopter carrier: 78 kilotons for 4 helicopters and a tactical company group

        I do not quite understand your irony. Escort AB is UDC America, which has all the features of an American warship, the first of which is an insane cost.
        The device under discussion is rather the realization of the idea of ​​a floating harbor on a new level. And, admittedly, a rare case for American admirals of a reasonable waste of money.
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 28 February 2018 10: 06
          0
          Quote: Cherry Nine
          I do not quite understand your irony. Escort AB is UDC America, which has all the features of an American warship, the first of which is an insane cost.

          UDC is a special construction ship. And the ESB was built precisely according to the ideology of AVE: a civilian corps with a runway.
          Quote: Cherry Nine
          The device under discussion is rather the realization of the idea of ​​a floating harbor on a new level.

          The floating harbor is the first 2 ships of the series: ESD - LCAC carriers. And the ESB is precisely the base for the KMP company and 4 helicopters.
        2. karabas-barabas
          karabas-barabas 5 March 2018 21: 45
          0
          Quote: Cherry Nine
          which has all the hallmarks of an American warship, the first of which is insane cost.

          It is not clear why such conclusions. The high cost of American warships is associated with the level of technology, combat potential and modernization resource. If in Russia they can build an equivalent ship, aircraft carrier, or cruiser, then it will cost more, because there is neither infrastructure, nor the choice of components and contractors, but there is impudent theft, they can safely land, since all kinds of bureaucrats oversee the Russian military-industrial complex and oligarchs close to power.
          1. Cherry Nine
            Cherry Nine 7 March 2018 00: 09
            0
            Quote: karabas-barabas
            The high cost of American warships is associated with the level of technology, combat potential and modernization resource

            There are some doubts about this. There is nothing in the UDC that justifies its cost several times higher than a larger passenger ship. Neither the notorious Aegis, nor a serious weapon.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America-class_amphi
            bious_assault_ship
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Queen_Mary_2
            Quote: karabas-barabas
            If in Russia they can build an equivalent ship, aircraft carrier, or cruiser, then it will cost more,

            Here you are certainly right. However, I do not think that the office of Mr. Rogozin is what should be taken as a standard of effectiveness.
  6. Monarchist
    Monarchist 27 February 2018 11: 17
    +4
    If all idiological stamps are discarded, EMB is a very, very useful thing. And I envy the amers: if they decide that EMB is necessary for national security and they build it, but they put a bolt on everyone! And we have since the days of the USSR
    dogmas live: all people are brothers, only radishes Americans can build an aircraft carrier or EMB, and we are peace-loving and fluffy and it is shameful for us to build such a thing. Alexander 3 or Stalin would not fool around, but would do that they NEED, but on others ....
    1. The comment was deleted.
  7. SevaNikolaev
    SevaNikolaev 27 February 2018 12: 45
    0
    And what is the color of budgies on his pipes?
  8. Dimon19661
    Dimon19661 27 February 2018 13: 02
    0
    I envy the Americans .. we would be like that. Alas - the economy will not pull.
    1. Setrac
      Setrac 27 February 2018 14: 28
      +2
      Quote: Dimon19661
      I envy the Americans .. we would be like that. Alas - the economy will not pull.

      200 million dollars our economy will not pull?
      1. Dimon19661
        Dimon19661 27 February 2018 16: 29
        +2
        it’s necessary to take into account not only the cost of the ship, this is only the top ... and for this class we don’t even have piers (take my word for it, I know what I’m writing) At one time, he often wound up on a raid where large ships (Minsk, Novorossiysk, Ural) due to the lack of piers for them stood.
        1. 82т11
          82т11 27 February 2018 23: 21
          0
          Piers can be built if necessary. Another thing is we need such a floating base, in the current conditions?
          1. Dimon19661
            Dimon19661 28 February 2018 04: 36
            0
            It’s possible to build, only the USSR didn’t spend such expenses. But do you need such a base? But what about Syria it is not clear? And what about the Kuril Islands?
            1. Alexey RA
              Alexey RA 28 February 2018 10: 12
              +1
              Quote: Dimon19661
              But is such a base necessary? And what about Syria is it not clear?

              In Syria, it’s clear - not needed. A company based on a base with four helicopters in a conflict similar to the Syrian shark and will not be noticed.
              And why is there a floating base in the Syrian conflict if the Russian Armed Forces on the ground have a full-fledged base and air base?
              Quote: Dimon19661
              And the same Kuril Islands?

              In the Kuril Islands, a company of marines with a naval base is simply irreplaceable. Where is it before her battalion or regiment of coastal defense (from the composition of 18 bullets) with its artillery and tanks ... laughing
              * sarcasm off
              1. Dimon19661
                Dimon19661 28 February 2018 12: 15
                0
                Well, of course, something I forgot MTS, it is formed by itself.
                1. Alexey RA
                  Alexey RA 28 February 2018 18: 01
                  0
                  Quote: Dimon19661
                  Well, of course, something I forgot MTS, it is formed by itself.

                  For the organization of normal supply, ESDs are more needed, which allow unloading any vessel outside the harbor to an unequipped shore with the help of LCAC with their "one abrams" lifting capacity.
                  And our fleet needs the ESB as much as it needs patrol ships to fight the pirates. smile
                  1. Dimon19661
                    Dimon19661 23 March 2018 14: 45
                    0
                    Where have you got such abbreviations ??? In the Russian Navy there are no such definitions .... you are an expert sofa.
    2. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 27 February 2018 14: 35
      +1
      Quote: Dimon19661
      I envy the Americans .. we would be like that.

      For what tasks do we need a 78 kt vessel carrying 4 helicopters, a company tactical group and a supply reserve for all of them?
  9. Comrade Kim
    Comrade Kim 27 February 2018 18: 58
    +2
    Dream of the invader)
  10. k_ply
    k_ply 5 March 2018 08: 40
    +1
    This is not a landing ship, but, first of all, a storage ship (ammunition and fuel and lubricants), which ensures that the expeditionary forces maintain a database at a considerable distance from the continental United States and ground supply bases. The fleet has its own supply vessels. At the stage of the MAO, it will not come close to the coast, rather, it will arrive after it, already in the course of maintaining a database in the depths of the coast with the organization of supply points on the shore.
    Airborne-based aircraft carry out transport functions of supply, not airborne transport.